by Julia Vernersson | May 8, 2018
Featured Live Blog: dpa’s “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories”
It has already been three years since Germany’s largest press agency, dpa, began their live blog “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories”. Since, it has become the go-to place to discover Germany’s weirdest happenings and news. Live Blog users can syndicate this blog, complementing their own regional stories with other dpa-live content and making it all easily available to their subscribers. “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories” is currently embedded in around two dozen customer websites, including Mitteldeutsche Zeitung and Radio Essen. We had a look behind the scenes of this popular blog by asking Süleyman Artiisik from dpa a few questions.
What makes this blog so special?
Every day in Germany and around the world a lot of strange things happen – ranging from the curious and bizarre to the adventurous. Then, there are topics that go viral on the net. We gather all of these in one place – on our blog. It is a “good mood blog”, there is nothing about death or serious injuries. The blog should bring a smile to the reader’s face.
What is the weirdest post you have published so far?
There are now more than 4,000 posts on the blog. It’s hard to say which one is the winner – there are quite a few candidates. For example, we recently posted one about a flying duck that was caught by a speed control camera in a 30 km/h zone in Switzerland, and one about a ten-year-old boy who called the police because he could not solve his homework.
How big is your blogging team?
Indirectly, this blog incorporates the dpa’s reporting and photography network. For the maintenance of the blog, we often use, among other things, the dpa text and photo service. We are also on various social networking sites and look for weird stories, videos and photos. For this, we use special social media monitoring tools. On a typical day, two people work two different shifts on the blog.
How does Sourcefabric’s Live Blog help you to run a good blog?
It is very useful. With the tool, we can embed all contributions from social networks via an embedding code directly into the blog – be it from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. This means we do not have to use external links. We also enjoy the possibility of freedom to design a post. A post doesn’t have to consist of only text and a photo or a video – we can combine anything we need.
What do you wish for the “Weird News & Other Offbeat Stories” blog in the future?
That customers feature this blog prominently on their websites. It’s no secret that readers spend more time on live blogs than reading regular articles. Live blogs also have a higher number of visitors, especially blogs that focus on entertainment and humour.